Thursday, June 09, 2005

Park City Mall

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

This mall is still going today. Though I'm sure the interior court doesn't look near as cool as this anymore. Wonder if the fountain is still there? Many malls cover those up these days to use as event stages and whatnot, or remove them completely so they can cram even more shops and stands in the place! Forget about beauty and ambience, nowadays it's only about the almighty dollar. Nothing else matters. So sad.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, the fountain is no longer there - it's a kiosk court with tables and a small performance space. Sad indeed.

Wed Jun 22, 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Thanks for the note, Casey. I appreciate the update.

Thu Jun 23, 05:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cool thing about this mall is that it is set up with 8 "spokes" radiating out from this hub. The hub in the center looks like a giant tepee. It is pretty cool I think even without the fountain.

Thu Jun 23, 07:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The layout of this mall resembles that of many prisons (ie. Eastern State Pen. nearly an hour and a half east in Philly).

Fri Jun 24, 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

This "hub" layout does sound pretty cool! I have an overhead layout map depicting this and it is intriguing (I'll share it soon), and different looking! You can see it somewhat there in the shot.

I'll try to get more shots of this mall up as I go along.

Sat Jun 25, 04:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is actually the same mall as the one erroniously listed as Spring Mall. I remember when they took the fountain out in the early 1980's. That was a cool looking mall and I am glad someone still has pictures of what it used to look like as I am remembering them purely from when I was 4-8 years old.

Wed Jun 29, 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Thanks for the details, Kevin! We do have that other photo all sorted out now. :)

Wed Jun 29, 11:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this photo, uncaptioned, on another site and clicked here because it looked so darn familiar. Of course, Park City! I went to college in Lancaster, in the mid- to late-70s, right down the road from here, and used to spend a fair amount of time in the Walden Books, looking for cheap reads. Thanks for the little flash-back.

Mon Aug 08, 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last time I was there in 1996, the hub-and-spoke motif was still in evidence, though one of the anchor stores (Clover) had just vacated. A pretty cool concept for one who had never been in anything other than a linear mall.

Thu Aug 11, 02:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Lancaster and I can remember my Grandmother giving me change to throw into the fountain. The mall now has a Carousel in center court, but I personally think the fountain was classier. Last time I went home the mall was under renovations, so it would be neat to see your old picture next to what it has looked like for the past decade and what the new layout will be.

Thu Oct 20, 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No fountain, no carousel, just crap. No longer enjoy going to this mall. What a shame!

Tue Jan 03, 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger dsfelix1971 said...

They are in the process of remodeling the center again. We all joke that they should put the fountain back in, but I don't think it's going to happen. They removed it in the 80's when we had a water shortage in this area. They tried to keep it going for a while by re-circulating the water, but it became stale and rancid (from all the coins) and I guess they just thought it best to remove it. I think there may have been some problems with it too - it was rather large, and I remember it not working half the time before its demise. The carousel was put in in the 90's, but it was on loan and can now be seen in Dollywood. Some woodscrafters in Lancaster, PA rebuilt some of the animals on it and to show off their workmanship, they "displayed" it in Park City.
Park City does have a really cool Christmas display though. The whole center of the mall becomes the Island Of Misfit Toys - with Rudolph, Hermie, and even the Abominable Snowman! And, of course, Santa.

Thu Apr 06, 12:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the problems with the fountain was that it leaked. It was a headache to maintain. There were large pumps to service and when it leaked, there was the water. Under the fountain and the mall is a truck tunnel and loading docks for delivery of goods to the stores. Most stores have their storage rooms under the mall. The fountain was also very noisy. I liked it...but it wasn't without its' problems.
Someone mentioned the eight spokes, the 4 large spokes had malls named after the anchor store at the end. The smaller spokes had directions for names, ie: North mall, south mall...
As I recall, the mall had carpet to start. That was replaced with hard surfaces during the first renovation. The mall was built in the early 70's. Skylights were added in the mid 80's. The skate rink, bumper cars, and pools gave way to Clover and the food court at that time too.

Sat Apr 29, 02:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kool i never know abot the rink n stuff nor the fountian as i am 22 years old i do rember the carsoul it was not there long it was rocky springs old one

Wed Jul 12, 02:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone has pics of the lower level (skating rink, dark atmosphere, and especially the arcade) please post them. I have been looking forever for photos of that awesome lower level...

Tue Jul 18, 08:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sit in the Park City mall right now, as I write. It is far from what it used to be. The "teepee" center has been crooked since I moved to Lancaster in 2000, rather dilapidated looking. Renovations continue. We do have very nice bathrooms now, but the rest of the mall is still second-string, including its anchor stores (Sears, JCPenny, Kohl's, Boscov's). The mall is, however, all about money, allowing the Carson & Barnes circus to preform in the parking lot (one of the worst animal-abusing circuses still around). Lancaster City is also known for it's flock of migrating crows, which, of course, poop on mall-shoppers' cars, further declining mall interest. Since the city will no long poison them, the mall now shoots cannons (which sound like shotguns) to scare away the birds. Nothing like feeling you're getting shot at to shoo away some birds at the mall.

I love it here.

Tue Dec 05, 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to escape the realm of consumerism, why go to the mall to begin with? Better to say nothing at all than to be continuously negative. I just arrived home from Park City. I worked in the J.C. Penney's there before entering the U.S. Navy. Returned home to Lancaster County in the mid 70's, only to move away to Florida for 30 years. Now I am home (hopefully) to stay. I too miss the fountain under which I used to have my lunch on a daily basis but, all in all the mall is still improved from the days of ice cream soaked carpets and people dropping things from the upper level onto the skaters below! The anchor stores are Boscov's, the Bon Ton, Sears, Kohls (in a large 2 story addition), and Penney's. Macy's and Gimbel's gave up on the mall a long time ago, but they are not missed, leading one to believe their departure was for the better. Hard to believe that Park City is nearing its 40th birthday, but its years have not diminished its popularity. Parking was as much a problem today as it was in 1970 when I worked there, and the center court was just as packed, though much less noisy without the fountain. I believe it was the second largest mall in the world, just behind King of Prussia when built. Compared to most others I've seen, it is still a big one!

Sat Dec 09, 11:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just came across this website and wanted to post some additonal info regarding the fountain design. My father, Joseph Crook designed and built this copper fountain back in the late 1960's while employed by Craftsman Plumbing and working for Mel Heiman (spelling of his name??). As of this date, July 2007, both have passed on.

I thank whoever originally posted these pics. They brought back many memories for me and my famiily. Susie (Crook) Schreiber

Sun Jul 01, 09:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually moved here from Paramus, NJ area about 15 years ago (for college and started working out here). For those who do not know Paramus is saturated with malls. Probably a mall every 1/2 mile. GGP (General Growth Properties also owns Paramus Park Mall).
Coming to this area was a shock for me, but Park City Center has grown and matured personally. Before the renovations the mall was dark and dreary. Tiles were dark brown which didn't reflect much light and the carpets were stained and worn. Overhead lighting wasn't the best either. Last year they finished the 1st renovations of replacing the tile, installing skylights, and more energy efficient lighting. The canvas canopy was just updated (cleaned and patched).
After the renovations were done in December 2007, the 2nd phase of construction started now for the "FOUNTAIN SHOPPES". So for those who missed the old fountain, it's BACK. From the pic above it's not as big, but definitely brings the mall back to it's roots. The fountain was completed and up/running in July 2007.

And for those who said the mall is all about money, well hello? What do you do at a mall? Just sight-see? Yes you shop to help the businesses stay in business, which in return they can pay their rent, which helps the mall stay in business. If you don't shop and spend money, stores close, and then the mall itself.

Mon Aug 06, 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember this mall and fountain when the floors were carpeted! One yea the entire sprinker system activated during the summer months thus soaking the carpet. Management had guys with working with wet-vacs and squeegees for weeks trying to dry it out. Anyway the fountain was painted black, except for the sculpture, and illuminated with orange lighting.
Also, the "spokes" were decorated with cheesy artificial trees. The foliage was platic as well and was changed for each season, like green leaves in the summer and colored leaves in the fall. I guess this supposed to be the "Park" portion of Park City. Wow! What memories. We moved out of stat in '79 so I don't know what became of this mall after that.

Fri Aug 17, 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like Susie, I also remember Park City Mall being built in the late 60s. It was one of the first big malls in the Harrisburg, PA area. I was in 4th grade then and at least the anchor stores were operating by 1969. Harrisburg East Mall was just being built and Park City Mall in Lancaster was the really BIG thing then and the talk of the town!!! I agree with Susie that it was built late 60s because I lived in the city of Harrisburg and went to school in the city that year just before we moved to the suburbs across the river in Camp Hill. Peach, now in Easton, PA

Thu Aug 30, 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

..I'm trying to find out all the stores that were in the mall when it opened.I loved that mall when it first opened.

Wed Dec 26, 11:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between the planters filled with seasonally-changing plastic foliage, there were many pong cabinet shaped towers, about 8 feet high, enclosing television screens that were constantly repeating loud advertising commercials for mall (or adjacent strip center) merchants.

Sat Dec 29, 12:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have to correct some of the ideas that were posted here. At various points, I had several jobs working in the mall, including Hickory Farms and the customer service booth in the center of Penney's mall. I remember going there when I was 4 or 5, on Sundays, and the whole mall being closed except for a lone Chinese restaurant that had a bar. Park City was Park City Mall and then became Park City Center. The circus tent top appeared in the late 80s or early 90s, and was the source of much amusement to the locals. The mall, at the time, was one of the largest completely enclosed malls for years, and except for East Towne Mall out on 30, the only mall in the area. And no, York & Harrisburg are not "in the area".
Boscov's joined the mall around 1984-1985, following the departure of Gimble's and Pomeroy's. Park City Mall never, ever had a Macy's department store. Lancaster Pennsylvania wasn't big enough and didn't have enough population to attract a Macy's. We had to travel to Philadelphia, or Owings Mills Mall in Reisterstown/Baltimore, MD. We could also go to a mall in Reading for Wanamakers.
Clover left the mall before 1996, because Kohl's came in just before I stopped working there. The Kohl's in Lancaster represented the first Kohl's store outside of their home area.
In the late 70s, there was a roller skating rink where I took lessons, which later became a flea market before the basement was remodeled for the food court, and Clover store. They also added an arcade, because video games were the thing at the time. The mall never had swimming pools, but it did have a pool distributor in that basement area. The last movie I saw before they closed the movie theatre was Splash.
The mall did in fact have carpets until the late 70s/early 80s, which were very hard to keep clean. The bathrooms, especially those near the "bus depot", next to the old Watt & Shand area. That particular spoke also has a Pensupreme ice cream shop, and a Christian bookstore. The TV station may or may not be there, it was there when I was last in that part of the mall early 2000. The mall also serves as the reception center in the event of an evacuation due to Three Mile Island or other disaster to the north, in part helped by those old television modules. People in Lancaster were super excited when Park City attracted a TGI Friday's in 1990, because it was the first sit-down chain restaurant in the area. I remember the McDonald's upstairs, and going there on a date, and then next-door to the Camelot music store to buy Duran Duran tapes. That McDonald's also provided food delivery to employees. The mall had several stores that were in one part of the mall, and would go through to another. The store would have entrances in a major spoke (anchor store), and the other opening in the smaller directionally named spoke. Woolworth's, People's Drug (became CVS), Waldenbooks, Clover, and a few other stores were like that. I also remember going to Hamburger's men's store with my father on a regular basis. The mall also had a really nice bulk foods store called Help Ur Self that sold candy and other things.
Park City always had multiple book stores: Waldenbooks, and Cole's were the first, and then across the street we got Border's (just books, no music), and Encore Books. Cole's became B. Dalton, I think.
Oh, and I can't forget the pet store, especially since one arm is currently being kept warm by cat who decided that I was the person he wanted to live with.

Tue Mar 18, 10:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thu Nov 20, 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say that the majority of you commenting are quite negative. heaven forbid things should change. The mall is beautiful and bright. New and madern stores are here and everything looks a thousand times better than before. You say that they only care about the money. Hello thats what a mall is for, shopping. Spending money. Its not an art gallery. some of you need to pull your heads out of your old fashion rear ends and realize that the mall has grown up.

Thu Jan 29, 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger krofts5 said...

i was born raised, grewup and will probably die in lancaster county, and yes park city has gone through many many changes over the years. the first trip i took to park city was a date to the mcdonalds right outside of the penny's store. we spent many a friday nite, at the roller skating rink, which was a pretty hot spot to be. the fountain everyone talks about, was cool, but it did leak badly, most of the time, the center of the mall had a musty-mouldy smell to it. someone mentioned the game room, well it was a pinball machine, pool table room, not a video game room, and it was miller pool supply, not pools lol. in the begining next to the arcade was a farmers market that changed to a flea market, and where pearlvision center is now, there use to be a movie theatre, that closed after they started showing x-rated movies. i was just out at park city last week, and when you see it all the time, its not special, but boy you should see it at christmas time. if anyone is interested in anything else concerning the mall, post and ask and i'll get the answers for ya

Thu Feb 12, 05:07:00 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

The fountain was beautiful by 1970s aesthetics, sure, but I remember my mother was glad when they decided to remove it. It was LOUD! The center court always has been an echo chamber, and the metal sculpture and general fountain design probably didn't help.

I also remember the whole mall usually smelled funny. That got much better when the carpets were removed. I do miss watching the skaters, but the food court is nice to have, too. The basic hub and spoke design is very smart and has spoiled me for the malls that are set up to make you walk past every single store to get from here to there.

Sat Feb 21, 06:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was Fun City Arcade and it had it all - billiards, pinball, video games and air hockey.

Sun Oct 11, 06:40:00 PM  
Anonymous JC said...

Dec 25, 2010....around the family gathering this Christmas Day-the grand opeing date of Park City came up and as best as I can find from my internet was 1972.

Growing up in Lancaster in the 70s and early 80s, I later moved to Philadelphia for nearly two decades where I went to college and began a family. I worked in retail (and in many malls) for years in the Philadelphia Region. Later it was time to move home and get out of retail (Lancaster is three counties west of Philadelphia-70 mi. Lancaster is not considered part of the Philadelphia Region, but Central Pennsylvania or the Harrisburg Region)......I never worked in Park City, but do remember the nostalgia (center fountain, skating rink, theatre, etc) as do many other readers. According to many articles that I have read and by plain observation of the parking lot.....THIS MALL IS A GEM!! While many regional malls suffer from economic decline, over competion and outdoor power centers.....this one, especially since its '07 renovation stacks up against the best of them. I consider myself somewhat of at mall rat (Christmas at the better place to be)--and this mall has very high appeal with, extremely high occupancy compared to industry average, no closed anchors, every noteable specialty chain is here and their Park City locations are high volume for their companies. Now its no King of Prussia (pretty hard to compete with KP's seven anchors from Sears to Nordstroms and Neimans), but in this age of foreclosurs, malls being leveled and overall trends away from regional centers.....Park City is a BEST IN CLASS for sure. Yes, it would be nice to have additional Macy's never occupied PC--the orig four were Sears, Pennys, Watt&Shand and Gimbels. Gimbels was the first to fall in '86, was taken over by Pomeroys and later Boscovs (current). Watt&Shand (local family dept store) went out late 80s/early 90s and was taken over by BonTon(current). When the late 80's renovation got rid of the entertainment on the lower level (rink, arcade, theatre) Philadelphia based Strawbridge&Clothier opened their general merchandise chain Clover (fifth anchor addition)....after S&C sold to May Co (Hechts)early 2000s......Kohls (current) became the new lower level anchor after May sold off all Clover locations.

Future?.......when this current economic downturn resolves itself.......I'm certain new anchors (Macy's, Lord&Taylor, etc) will be on GGP's doorstep for locations......this mall could have anchors added easily out the shorter wings, North Mall, East Mall, etc...... and parking garages added to accomodate the parking loss from expansion......we'll have to wait and see.....but by no stretch.....a mall says a lot about its community......stores boarded up, visible scars on store fronts from previous tenants, stores like Marshals, Burlington Coat, Value City, even Walmart moving into prime space (an enclosed mall) never intended for these types of merchants-an indication that your mall and the community it supports is in decline. Now, I'm certainly not bashing the above mentioned merchants.....the best of communities have them-just not in the enclosed regional shopping mall......the reason is they usually don't have a profit model to pay for this type of space at top $$$....if they do get space like this, the mall is on the decline and an indication the owners are desparate to any price....and then usually there is no turning back to the mall's heyday...... HOWEVER...... Park City looks nothing like this and has nothing less than an A+ rating for its success, innovation and ability for not falling onto "deadmall" lists.....commerce is alive and well at Park City Center here in Lancaster, PA......our community is good and our mall reflects it!!!

Sat Dec 25, 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Lschreiner40 said...

I actually fell in that fountain when I was 5

Tue Jul 05, 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Lschreiner40 said...

I actually fell in that fountain when I was 5!!

Tue Jul 05, 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

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Wed Oct 12, 02:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Vacation Quest said...

I know something about the malls of America.It's really enriched facilities for the malls than other country.

Mon Mar 26, 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SDS I grew up in Lancaster and went to park city mall the first month it opened , I know someone mentioned the farmers market down stairs , b4 it was the market bumper cars were in there next to the game room , which had several pool tables air hockey and video games , I also roller skated every Saturday morning , also when they first opened there was a indoor mini golf course down stairs across where you entered the movies , and there was playland and a gym downstairs that eventually moved out to the golden triangle in Lancaster and became fitness America , and they also had a grand prix racing track down stairs , I would love to see some pictures of the whole downstairs from back in the day , me and my girl friend hung out down there all the time , one of our first dates we went to the mall and ate at the jade tiki inn which was the only Chinese resteraunt in the mall , we are still together and have been married over 30 yrs. , we still go out there once in a while

Wed Mar 27, 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, photos of Park City in the 70s are virtually non-existent. At the time, malls were a relatively new concept, and the competition between them was fierce. In order to "protect" their design, Park City had implemented a strict policy that forbade patrons from snapping pictures while on mall property. The end result is that we may never again see the amusement park, arcade, ice rink, or miniature golf course. Very sad.

Wed Feb 11, 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Pastor Weibley said...

Ran across this while looking for something else. I was in the Boy Scout troop that Mel(vin) Hyman and Larry, his brother ( the developers of Park City) ran. I remember it before the stupid peak thing. I thought the fountain sculpture had been by the Lancaster Artist Lipman? I have many stories about both of them, but Larry, who was a March of Dimes poster child once, argued with his brother and left, for where I never knew. Larry invested a lot of time in me and I from him learned to play "Botticelli," a game you could play on the trips to camp as you drove. He also told a story at nightime called Ahkantan Re and also the story of the Monkey's Pawr (well, that's how he said it) with great dramatic dramatic flair. When he left I was heartbroken and in those internet days tried to reach him, writing a long letter to him. Regardless, I can remember when they were digging the ground to make way for Park City. Mel eventually hired an older bachelor, a beloved leader in Boy Scouts, Bill Litzenheimer to work downstairs . . . we spent a lot of time at Park City through my youth and high school days. Sad to see it de-develop.

Mon Jul 20, 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Pastor Weibley said...

Interesting about childhood memory inaccuracies/rumors! Glad to have more carefully read of the real sculptor above, Joseph Crook, as commented by his son.

Tue Jul 21, 06:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This mall is still surviving and thriving today, I go here very often and I have to say it's a lot more brighter then before and during Christmas is very festive. The center court now has a Cinnabun under the tent's main poll.

Fri Nov 20, 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Does anyone remember a cafetetia sTyle steak house that was in the watt and shand mall in the early eighties?

Thu Mar 23, 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger LDub said...

The sculptor who did the center in Park City was Stanley Lipman. He titled the sculpture "Phoenix." Made primarily from copper tubes. Stan taught school at Manheim Township High School with me. He was a Special Ed teacher and his students loved him. Once a week they would cook lunch in his room and he would invite me to attend. Always had to give a donation for food for the next week. Stan used the metal shop quite a bit to make sculptures from poured aluminum. Very artistic guy as well as a fantastic scuba diver. I still have one of his outdoor sculptures in my garden.

Tue Apr 25, 04:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone commented that the movie theater (a twin theater with two separate screens) closed shortly after they started showing XXX adult movies, but that's not true. The one screen showed second run mainstream films, and the other screen showed adult entertainment for many years. So yes, there were porno movies showing at the mall for several years. At one time there was a gym in the lower level, but they were called health spas in the mid-1970's. I remember my dad and I took a tour of the gym (health spa) around 1974. There was also a mini rollercoaster (and maybe some other rides) in the lower level, some time before it became a flea market. Yes, I remember the fountain! From my memory it looked like a giant black cauldron with the sculpture placed in the middle. It was a VERY loud fountain! I think the pet store was named Dr. Pet Center, and besides the usual pet fare they often had t arantulas and piranha. Some past restaurants and stores include Chess King, Wall To Wall Sound And Video, Sam Goody, KB Toys, The Icehouse, Salad Haus, and The York Steak House. I hope this has been informative, and it's all to the best of my memory. Cheers, Bill Bonanno

Thu Jul 27, 06:13:00 PM  
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Blogger Unknown said...

Does no one remember the fashion shows in the 90s

Fri Sep 25, 03:33:00 AM  

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